• What We Do:

    Waukesha County Health and Human Services (WCDHHS) offers community-based services to adolescents who have been placed on supervision by the Juvenile Court, or who are at risk of coming to the court’s attention. Services are provided to adolescents and their families where severe family conflicts, truancy, uncontrollability, substance abuse, delinquency, or serious emotional disturbance may be present. The Adolescent and Family Division's varied and diverse services share a philosophical commitment to the dignity of the individual, and a belief that individuals and families can, with proper assistance, positively respond to the challenges that life’s problems and crises present. Adolescent and Family social workers believe in a strength-based and least restrictive approach to working with families. The goal of the Adolescent and Family Division is to keep families together and work through challenging circumstances. Social workers strive to provide culturally competent services and connections to community resources.

    Every attempt is made to maintain family unity by using a community-based services model, which may include intensive family treatment, educational support, and other provided and purchased services. If in-home services are not appropriate, the Division also facilitates, coordinates and monitors court-ordered foster care, group home, and residential care center placements, as well as secure correctional placements.

    A secure and a contracted non-secure detention service is also provided for the temporary 24-hour care and supervision of juveniles, aged 10 to 18 years, who have been charged with delinquent acts, or who may be in need of protection and services.

    The Adolescent and Family Division employees are Wisconsin state licensed social workers. The minimum requirement for social workers is a bachelor’s degree in social work or related field. Many social workers utilize skills gained with advanced degrees. Social workers utilize motivational interviewing, counseling, case management and trauma-informed care strategies in working with youth and families. Staff are required to complete continuing education credits in order to maintain their social work license and to remain current in new treatment modalities. They are trained in evidence-based strategies to meet the needs of the family and youth. Social workers conduct home visits, school visits, office visits, and monitor Juvenile Court orders. They act as advocates for youth and families in areas such as the community, schools, and court.

    Mission Statement

    It is the mission of the Adolescent and Family Services Division to:

    • Promote the protection and safety of the community from delinquent acts of juveniles.
    • Promote the protection and safety of children from the abusive and neglectful acts of adults and other children.
    • Promote the development of responsible and pro-social behaviors in children and their families.
    • Promote the development of skills and competencies toward self-sufficiency in children and their families.
    • Promote the strengths of the family unit as the foundation of a strong community.

    Philosophy of Service

    • Whenever possible, the best way to address a young person’s areas of conflict with the law, the school, or the family, is to work in partnership with the youth’s family. In the vast majority of cases, the Agency can most effectively accomplish its mission, assist in bringing about lasting change, and support the philosophy of the Juvenile Code, by focusing efforts on strengthening and supplementing parental authority, not replacing it.